Dayan Berger: Better Daven in Your Seat On a Plane


chareidimFlying can pose all sorts of challenges, none more so than for frum men who wish to daven with a minyan. A Manchester dayan reportedly told a meeting this week that it is better to daven in your seat rather than risk a disruption by standing in the aisle, according to a report on

He was unavailable for comment, because he was flying when the JC tried to contact him.

But a member of his audience said that he had been concerned about the impression made on potential passengers, especially if Yidden simply got up and tried to pray in a minyan.

One rov who could be reached, Rabbi Yitzchok Shochet, the chairman of the United Synagogue’s Rabbinical Council, believed it had become more difficult to daven in a group on board.

“The airlines don’t like people congregating in the back of the plane any more,” he said. “People have become more sensitive about it since 9/11.”

But he added that recently: “My son was flying back from New York to London and he wanted to get a minyan for Maariv. Initially, they were reluctant, but he said ‘We’ll be quick’, and they let him go ahead.”

One senior rabbinic figure, Dayan Yitzchak Berger of the Manchester Beth Din, took the view that if you want to hold an on-board minyan, permission is needed, not only from the crew, but also from neighboring passengers.

“If anyone objects, then you sit and daven in your seat,” he said. “One has got to think not only of oneself and one’s religious observances, but one has got to think of others.”

A few weeks ago, Dayan Berger was waiting for a flight from Tel Aviv to the UK when a man wanted a minyan to say kaddish. The problem was that passengers to London would still have time for Shacharis on arrival, but the requisite hour would have passed for those going on to Manchester.

The dayan’s solution was an abbreviated davening at the departure gate.

EasyJet, which recently started flying to Israel, said that it would permit a minyan after the cabin crew’s in-flight service, “although this has not happened on our flights yet”, a spokeswoman said.

{ Newscenter}


  1. Why can’t everyone daven Shemona Esreh in their seats at the same time to at least have tefillah b’zebar.They are in one room and most see each other.

  2. Nothing new here!!! 0ld news. This is a Psak for years already.

    Rav Schwab ZT”L Paskened years ago it is Asur to have a Minyan on a Plane.

    Rav Hillel David Shlit”a has said the same – that it is Asur – many times.

    I personally was sitting next to the Novominsker Rebbi Shlita 14 years ago on a plane (Tower airlines)to Eretz Yisroel when he was asked to join a Minyan for Shacharis. He said it is Asur (explaining that not only is it disturbing to the people in charge of making sure the flight is run smooth, it is not permitted to say Kaddish or Kedusha or Borchu near other people who would have to stand to answer and thus disturb them). By the way the Mechutzafim decided to make a Minyan anyways eventhough the Rebbe said no so the Rebbe took his Talis and tefilin and went to a different part of the plane just so nobody should be Choished him that he was part of this Minyan (considered to be a Chilul Hashem).

    Many other Poskim have Paskened it is Asur to make a Minyan on a plane. As a matter of fact perhaps someone knows of a gadol who said it is Mutar? I am unaware of any.

  3. This is from a pamphlet that el-al puts out showing that ALL the gedolim were against making a minyan on the plane, (yet I am astounded that everyone seems to do it anyway! What accounts for this?)

    Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner:
    When the “fasten seatbelts” sign is lit, one should sit down…one should immediately sit down in his place and continue Shemoneh Esrei while seated.

    Rav Ovadia Yosef:
    During a flight Rabbi Ovadia Yosef customarily prays individually and not together with a group so as not to disturb others, for fear of robbing another person’s sleep (Halachic Guide for the Passenger, Rabbi Rafael Avraham Suaya, Chapter 9, Para. 1, p. 76).

    Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach:
    The Rav was not supportive of conducting minyanim during a flight, because it disturbs the rest of the passengers around them.”(Halichos Shlomo. p. 95)

    Rav Moshe Feinstein:
    if there is a chance that this will bother others, it is preferable to sit (Rabbi Moshe Feinstein ob”m. Igros Moshe Orach Chaim, 4, 20.)

    Rav Yitzchak Silberstein:
    When the captain of the flight decides that passengers must sit and fasten their seatbelts because of a risk of danger, one must obey and sit down, even if he is in the middle of Shemoneh Esrei.
    B. If one refuses to obey these instruction, it seems that he does not fulfill the obligation of tefillah because it is considered a mitzvah haba b’aveirah. He also brings about derision of the Torah by others and effects a chillul Hashem (From a response to El Al; also published in the Kanfei Ruach booklet)..